Norine Marie Florence, 95, of Big Rock, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, surrounded by the love and prayers of her family at McAuley Manor in Aurora.
She was born March 28, 1917, the daughter of Nickolas and Ada (Benton) Nickels in Aurora.
Norine grew up in Blackberry Township, on what is now known as Lorang Road, on the family farm. She attended local schools and graduated from Kaneville High School with the class of 1934.
Following graduation, she became her mother’s right hand in the home until Norine married her high school sweetheart, Wayne Florence. They were united in marriage on Oct. 8, 1936, in the parsonage of the Batavia Methodist Church. They made their home on the Florence family farm near Troxel until 1939, when they moved to the present family farm near Big Rock. Over the years, they welcomed Janice, Robert, Ronald, Susan and Linda into their lives. Norine devoted her life to raising her children and caring for their home. She was a member of the Aurora Moose Lodge for many years.
Norine enjoyed many activities that kept her busy over the years. In the early years, she would make her own butter, cottage cheese and jam. After the children moved out she and Wayne would spend evenings dancing or gathering their friends to play a game of Euchre. They traveled many miles together over the years, but the one special place they traveled to was the family’s cottage in Door County, Wis.
Although Norine had many interests, nothing meant more to her than her family. She always supported her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in anything they did, whether it was attending a basketball, baseball or soccer game, or just being there to greet them at the door when they ran across the driveway.
She is survived by her children, Janice (Edward) O’Connell of Sugar Grove, Robert Florence of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., Ronald Florence of New Braunfels, Texas, Susan Florence and Linda (Gary) Bellak, both of Big Rock; eight grandchildren, Edward (Debbie) O’Connell, Debbie (Tim) Torres, Colleen (Steve) Paulsen, Sherry (Joe) Hernandez, Michelle (Clint) Phillips, Bradley (Candi) Florence, Grant (Natasha) Bellak and Kaitlin Bellak; twelve great-grandchildren, Erin (T.C.) Watson and their children Hunter and Lily, Emily O’Connell, Steven and Mark Torres, Scott and Eric Paulsen, Jamie (Gabe) Schlenker, Laura Guzick, Riley, Kyle and Blake Phillips, Arianna Florence; two step-great-grandchildren, Brent and Brittany; one brother, Gilbert (Louise) Nickels; and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Wayne Florence; one brother, Keller (Leota) Nickels; sister, Jean Nickels; sister-in-law, Elsie Nickels; and daughter-in-law, Marion Florence.
Visitation was held on Sunday at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A funeral service to celebrate Norine’s life was held on Monday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Norine’s name to benefit the Big Rock Fire Department and the American Heart Association and McAuley Manor. Checks may be made to the “Name Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.